Local Organization Receive $250K Build Health Challenge Award to Improve Seniors' Health

November 19, 2019

Couple laying on grass

Award given to Truckee Meadows Health Communities, Renown Health & Washoe County Health District.

Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities (TMHC), Renown Health and the Washoe County Health District received the BUILD Health Challenge® award, a $250,000 grant to support Caring For Reno’s Elders (C.A.R.E.) program. The award comes as a collaborative result of more than 30 local organizations submitting a proposal for the funding.

Renown Health announced that the organization is matching the grant alongside other pledged funding from the community, bringing the current C.A.R.E. support to $580,000.

Together the entities will focus on senior loneliness and the health issues it creates. The partners are honored that Truckee Meadows was selected as one of 18 communities to receive funding from BUILD in the 2019-2021 term.

“C.A.R.E will be a community approach to enhance life quality for elders by reducing social isolation and loneliness, issues that seriously impact senior health,” said co-team leader Kindle Craig, Sr. Director Renown Institutes. “Loneliness is the root cause of many issues including suicide1 , chronic disease2 and a reduction in lifespan3 . Washoe County senior suicide rates are two and four times the national rate for those aged 65 and 85 years, respectively4 . That is unacceptable.”

Sharon Zadra, TMHC executive director and co-team leader, said this project will tackle barriers to socialization such as access to affordable housing, transportation and healthcare. 

“We’ll bring the entire community on-board, long-term, to increase social connectedness and reduce health and mortality issues associated with loneliness by starting a cross generational ‘Kindness Epidemic,’” Zadra said.

The BUILD Health Challenge is a national program focused on bold, upstream, integrated, local and data driven projects that can improve community health. The award provides funding, capacity building support and access to a national peer-learning network to enhance collaborative partnerships locally to address our community’s most pressing health challenges. The C.A.R.E team expresses special thanks to the BUILD Health Challenge for its support of this initiative.

“Loneliness and isolation in our senior population leads to declines in both mental and physical health, and increased mortality,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County District Health Officer. “We are incredibly honored to join the BUILD cohort, teaming with TMHC and Renown Health to bring long-term solutions by building a cohesive social network to improve the health of our elders.” 

The BUILD Health Challenge® is made possible with the support of: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, de Beaumont Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

TMHC, Renown Health and WCHD have worked united for the last five years, rallying diverse partners and community leaders to influence and advocate for the region’s capacity to ensure a healthy community.


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